The profile of dermatological problems in primary care: Clinical dermatology • Original article

Department of Dermatology, Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, UK.
Clinical and Experimental Dermatology (Impact Factor: 1.09). 10/2009; 35(4):380-3. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2230.2009.03586.x
Source: PubMed


Cutaneous disease is thought to account for 10-15% of patient consultations with general practitioners, but relatively little is known about the demography of dermatological conditions in primary care.
To assess the proportion and diagnostic profile of dermatological conditions seen in primary care in the southeast of Scotland, and to draw comparisons with secondary dermatological care.
General practitioners in 13 general practices were asked to note all skin-related consultations during a 2-week period. The case notes of these patients were reviewed, and diagnosis and treatment was recorded. Patients who had consulted for the same skin disorder on >or= 3 occasions during the previous year were invited for assessment by a consultant dermatologist. Where possible, the case notes from 10% of all consultations during the 2-week study period were examined to assess accuracy of recording.
The percentage of consultations relating to cutaneous disorders varied between practices, ranging from 3% to 18.8%, with a mean of 8.4%. Eczema accounted for 22.5%, infections 20.3% and benign tumours for 11.4% of consultations with a dermatological basis. In contrast, in secondary care, benign tumours accounted for 23.8%, malignant tumours for 16.4% and eczema for 16.3% of dermatological consultations.
Dermatological disorders make up a significant proportion of general practitioners' workload. The diagnostic profile of primary-care dermatology differs markedly from that of hospital practice. General practitioners may benefit from training specifically tailored to the common primary-care dermatological conditions.

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    • "Studies show that 8-15% of primary care consultations involve a dermatological problem [1-3]. There are increasing expectations on primary care doctors to shoulder a bigger share of care for patients with common dermatological problems in the community [4,5]. However, some primary care doctors were inadequately trained to meet these expectations [6,7]. "
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    ABSTRACT: There are increasing expectations on primary care doctors to shoulder a bigger share of care for patients with common dermatological problems in the community. This study examined the learning outcomes of a short postgraduate course in dermatology for primary care doctors. A self-reported questionnaire developed by the research team was sent to the Course graduates. A retrospective design was adopted to compare their clinical practice characteristics before and after the Course. Differences in the ratings were analysed using the nonparametric Wilcoxon signed rank test to evaluate the effectiveness of the Course in various aspects. Sixty-nine graduates replied with a response rate of 42.9% (69/161). Most were confident of diagnosing (91.2%) and managing (88.4%) common dermatological problems after the Course, compared to 61.8% and 58.0% respectively before the Course. Most had also modified their approach and increased their attention to patients with dermatological problems. The number of patients with dermatological problems seen by the graduates per day showed significant increase after the Course, while the average percentage of referrals to dermatologists dropped from 31.9% to 23.5%. The proportion of graduates interested in following up patients with chronic dermatological problems increased from 60.3% to 77.9%. Graduates of the Course reported improved confidence, attitudes and skills in treating common dermatological problems. They also reported to handle more patients with common dermatological problems in their practice and refer fewer patients.
    Full-text · Article · May 2011 · BMC Medical Education
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    Full-text · Article · Jan 2011
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    ABSTRACT: Aqueous Cream BP is frequently prescribed for patients with eczema and is known to induce sensitivity in certain patients and also to decrease the thickness of the stratum corneum (SC). We have previously reported methodology to quantify corneocyte maturity and size, protease activity and protein content within different levels of the SC. The aim of the present study was to investigate changes in corneocyte size, corneocyte maturity, selected protease activities, protein content and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) in normal skin after a 28-day application of Aqueous Cream BP. The left and right mid volar forearms of six healthy female volunteers were selected as the study sites. Aqueous Cream BP was applied twice daily to treated sites for 28 days. At the end of this period, the site was tape-stripped and corneocyte maturity, corneocyte size and protease activity of the desquamatory kallikrein proteases, KLK5 and KLK7, and the inflammatory proteases tryptase and plasmin were measured. Protein content and TEWL measurements were also recorded. Corneocyte maturity and size decreased with increasing number of tape strips, and were significantly lower in treated sites compared with untreated sites. Protease activity and TEWL values were higher (P < 0·05) for the treated sites compared with untreated sites. The amount of protein removed from deeper layers of treated sites was significantly lower than from untreated sites. We report rapid minimally invasive measures of the effects of Aqueous Cream BP at the cellular and molecular level of the skin. Treatment with this formulation is associated with increased desquamatory and inflammatory protease activity. Changes in corneocyte maturity and size are also indicative of accelerated skin turnover induced by chronic application of this emollient. These findings question firmly the routine prescription of this preparation as a moisturizer in patients with atopic dermatitis.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2011 · British Journal of Dermatology
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